Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 466201

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Depakote will either kill you or save you

Posted by Spriggy on March 3, 2005, at 20:01:55

So I go read on the remedyfind boards and found that Depakote either will likely make you feel dead, make you go bald, cause you to gain 50 pounds, make your liver fail,

OR:

It might help stabilize your moods but not help with depression.


SOOOO... after reading all those responses, I'm thinking a big "no" on even putting the first pill in my mouth.


Does ANYBODY have anything good to say about this drug???

 

Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you Spriggy

Posted by Phillipa on March 3, 2005, at 20:32:55

In reply to Depakote will either kill you or save you, posted by Spriggy on March 3, 2005, at 20:01:55

I think I've met my Twin! Pills are bad, eat chocolate! Fondly, Phillipa

 

How about just sticking with Klonopin? Spriggy

Posted by Chris O on March 3, 2005, at 20:50:22

In reply to Depakote will either kill you or save you, posted by Spriggy on March 3, 2005, at 20:01:55

Spriggy:

Has the Klonopin been helping your anxiety symptoms at all? What about sticking with that for a bit and seeing if things improve? Sorry if you've already tried this. Or...did you ever try taking fish oil? I just did a 2 week trial of Carlson's (4 teaspoons of their liquid fish oil product/day). It definitely knocked out some of my physicalized anxiety, though it also created some other type of anxiety too. But if you're bipolar...there a many studies indicating fish oil can help without any side effects. Just a thought.

On a lighter note, I was just looking at the Depakote site on the web. It's funny how the drug companies minimize all the side effects so as to make even the most harmful scary drug seem like candy. "Depakote, can, eh-hum, cause a few side effects...." Gee, thanks Abbott Laboratories. Anyway, much luck.

Chris

DEPAKOTE can cause side effects. It is important to know the side effects most commonly reported by people taking DEPAKOTE so that you can talk with your doctor if you experience any of them. Your doctor can help you take steps to manage them.

The side effects most commonly reported with DEPAKOTE include nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and vomiting. Most of these were mild or moderate in intensity.

 

Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you

Posted by Maxime on March 3, 2005, at 21:42:26

In reply to Depakote will either kill you or save you, posted by Spriggy on March 3, 2005, at 20:01:55

Hated it. Hated it. Hated it. I walked like I was drunk and could not stay awake ... who knows if it made me feel better. I was too tired to notice.


However for some it has been a lifesaver.

Maxime

 

Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you

Posted by gromit on March 4, 2005, at 2:52:58

In reply to Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you, posted by Maxime on March 3, 2005, at 21:42:26

> Hated it. Hated it. Hated it. I walked like I was drunk and could not stay awake ... who knows if it made me feel better. I was too tired to notice.

The same experience here, sleepy sleepy sleepy. Other things that happened were sinus infections that would go away with antibiotics but come back in a couple weeks, athlete's foot, jock itch, weird flaking dry yet waxy skin in my belly button, right ear and nostril and above my right eyelid, maybe that was fungus too who knows. All this went away when I stopped taking it.

Oh wait, you wanted positive experiences...

 

Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you Spriggy

Posted by SLS on March 4, 2005, at 3:23:20

In reply to Depakote will either kill you or save you, posted by Spriggy on March 3, 2005, at 20:01:55

Your summation of Depakote is actually pretty accurate if one were to caricaturize it. However, since your life is not a cartoon, you should seriously try to gain as much insight into Depakote as possible before making your decision.

Sometimes it is best to look at the role a mood stabilizer plays by looking at the natural course of the illness and how it presents itself; the occurrences of depression, the occurrences of mania, the amount of time spent in each phase, and symptomology. It is also important to look at which drugs it will be combined with.

Depakote is a good drug for many people. The description of side effects that RemedyFind lists as occurs with Depakote lacks in their explanation an idea as to how frequently these side effects occur, nor the percentage of people whose lives are changed for the better by Depakote. Any complete list of the possible side effects that have been associated with the drugs used in medicine can look like a perilous minefield without the benefit of perspective. My guess is that a disproportionately large number of people hanging out at that site are those who have failed treatment, so their opinions might be skewed against those remedies most often tried. Perhaps satisfied customers don't end up on the Internet to complain about their treatment by voting on RemedyFind.

I can tell you from personal experience that Depakote does have the potential to produce antidepressant effects when combined with the right antidepressants. For some people, it will act alone to stabilize their illness such that they need no antidepressants. On the other hand, Depakote can make some people's depression mildly worse.

The liver thing is for real. You should have a liver test performed before beginning treatment with Depakote. I forget what the standard recommendation is for how often to have your blood tested during early in treatment. Maybe after the first month and bimonthly thereafter. If anything untoward is going to happen, it usually shows up during the first six months. Thereafter, blood tests are needed much less frequently. My memory is failing me at the moment, but you might end up needing only two tests per year. Blood platelet numbers can be reduced by Depakote, but this is not very common, and is most likely to occur at very high dosages (2000mg). Sedation and drowsiness are usually startup side effects and disappear within one or two weeks. Weight gain and alopecia are not infrequent, although I can't provide a statistic at the moment. As is true with most of the antidepressants, you might have to assess what you have to gain by treatment versus the propensity of these drugs to produce weight gain.

You do have some control over the situation. I really don't have any recommendations for you. Even if I were inclined to offer one, I don't know nearly enough about you. I am hoping that your doctor does. If (hypo)mania is problematic or precedes a depressive episode, I think Depakote can be justified as a first choice. If it were me, I wouldn't be afraid of its side effect profile. Be sure to have liver tests. If you are unhappy with the way you feel and are troubled by the magnitude of side effects, you can always stop taking it without the fear that these effects are irreversible.

Was Lamictal discussed? What were the particulars?


- Scott

 

SLS

Posted by Spriggy on March 4, 2005, at 12:44:48

In reply to Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you Spriggy, posted by SLS on March 4, 2005, at 3:23:20


I was actually hoping for Lamictal. My father takes it and it has helped him tremendously, just knowing someone who has benefited makes me feel much better.

Everyone I know that has been on Depakote says they felt drunk, their hair fell out, they got fat, and then of course, just read the above responses about infections and liver problems, etc..

I am starting on a low dose (250 mg's) and I did wonder if I could start out by taking it EVERY other day just to see.

I like my liver, would like to keep it. I like my hair, wouldn't mind losing a bit of it, I like my weight right now- 5-10 pounds wouldn't kill me but from what I've read people take the pill and wake up 35 pounds heavier (okay, not literally but sure sounds that way).

I am wondering if I should just switch doctor's. My doctor doesn't seem to "get this" thing. I specifically asked for Lamictal because:
a) I am not taking any other antidepressent and it has antidepressent effects as well as mood stabilizing ones
b) I don't like the side effects associated with Depakote.
c) my dad is on Lamictal and it works for him- we have the same genes so I assume I might respond the same way.


BUT, my doctor went in to talk with his fellow dr. and came back and said, " No.. Lamictal can cause this weird rash and I've had success with Depakote with other BP patients."

And that was that. He wanted me to take 500 mg's twice a day and I said, " Nope" start me out as low as you can go.

SO... here's what I think I will do (being the drug paranoid blonde that I am).

I think I will conjure up enough "guts" to take a pill tonight. I will have my poor husband drive us around in the car after I take it so that I can be near a hospital in case I wig out ( yes, I know how pathetic this is but it will put my mind to rest), and hopefully, it will put me to sleep, I'll just wake up tomorrow morning and never even know what happened.

ROFL.

You better believe I'll be stepping on my scale every single day from here on out.

Chocolate ding dongs', here I come..

 

Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you

Posted by Minnie-Haha on March 4, 2005, at 18:34:51

In reply to Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you Spriggy, posted by SLS on March 4, 2005, at 3:23:20

> The liver thing is for real. You should have a liver test performed before beginning treatment with Depakote. I forget what the standard recommendation is for how often to have your blood tested during early in treatment. Maybe after the first month and bimonthly thereafter.

This clicks with my recollection. Four weeks, then bi-monthly, then 3-4 times per year.

 

Re: SLS

Posted by Minnie-Haha on March 4, 2005, at 18:55:00

In reply to SLS, posted by Spriggy on March 4, 2005, at 12:44:48

> Everyone I know that has been on Depakote says they felt drunk, their hair fell out, they got fat, and then of course, just read the above responses about infections and liver problems, etc..

I had a little hair-loss, which I countered with Zinc and Selenium, but other than that it didn't make me feel bad... in the short term. It was just the weight gain (30 pounds in 2 years) that eventually made me want to find an alternative. I never had liver problems, but it was a bit of a pain to have to get my blood checked periodically.


> I am wondering if I should just switch doctor's. My doctor doesn't seem to "get this" thing. I specifically asked for Lamictal because:
> a) I am not taking any other antidepressent and it has antidepressent effects as well as mood stabilizing ones

I took it for awhile and it had a mood brightening effect, but I also suspected that it might have been starting to "activate" me or make me a tad anxious.


> b) I don't like the side effects associated with Depakote.
> c) my dad is on Lamictal and it works for him- we have the same genes so I assume I might respond the same way.

I think that's a decent assumption.


> BUT, my doctor went in to talk with his fellow dr. and came back and said, " No.. Lamictal can cause this weird rash...

I think this reason alone is not enough to avoid Lamictal if it seems indicated. You just have to start up on it at a VERY low dose and increase it VERY slowly... and have a plan about what you'll do if you develop a rash.

I don't know if you read my post for you about Depakote yesterday, but here's a link.

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20050227/msgs/466194.html

I've also posted some things about medication induced vitamin/mineral deficiencies (like with Depakote) and how to start-up on Lamictal. I'll try to find the links, but if you look, you might find 'em.

 

Re: SLS

Posted by Minnie-Haha on March 4, 2005, at 19:09:08

In reply to SLS, posted by Spriggy on March 4, 2005, at 12:44:48

> Everyone I know that has been on Depakote says they felt drunk, their hair fell out, they got fat, and then of course, just read the above responses about infections and liver problems, etc...

Here's the link to info on vitamin/mineral deficiencies common with different types of medications...

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsLookups/Depletions.html

 

Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you gromit

Posted by Maxime on March 4, 2005, at 23:57:03

In reply to Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you, posted by gromit on March 4, 2005, at 2:52:58

> > Hated it. Hated it. Hated it. I walked like I was drunk and could not stay awake ... who knows if it made me feel better. I was too tired to notice.
>
> The same experience here, sleepy sleepy sleepy. Other things that happened were sinus infections that would go away with antibiotics but come back in a couple weeks, athlete's foot, jock itch, weird flaking dry yet waxy skin in my belly button, right ear and nostril and above my right eyelid, maybe that was fungus too who knows. All this went away when I stopped taking it.
>
> Oh wait, you wanted positive experiences...
>
>

Chuckle, chuckle, SNORT!
I am imagining your list of side effect spoken out loud on one of those TV commercials for medications -- "in some cases, patients will experience athlete's foot,jock itch,weird flaking dry yet waxy skin in their navel,ears,nostrils or above the eyes, you may feel like you are in a semi-coma and be mistaken for drunk while attempting to walk in a straight line without falling over ... Ask your Doctor about Depakote!" The next ad would be for Weight Watchers or Hair implants.

Maxime

 

Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you Maxime

Posted by gromit on March 5, 2005, at 13:58:12

In reply to Re: Depakote will either kill you or save you gromit, posted by Maxime on March 4, 2005, at 23:57:03

Well at least I didn't get the side effect I think sounds the funniest, fecal urgency. I can't remember which one that was, it wasn't Depakote.


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